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The best way to follow up after a job interview

You’ve just had a great job interview at your favourite not-for-profit organisation and your interviewer tells you she’ll be in touch with an answer within the week.

But more than a week later you’re still waiting to hear back.

So should you follow up with her?

The short answer is yes. But there’s the way most people do it – and then there’s the best way to do it, according to Adrian Granzella Larssen from US career advice site The Muse.

Perhaps you’ve sent out this kind of email in the past:

Hi <interviewer name>,

I hope you’re well – it was great to meet you last week!

You mentioned you’d be in touch by Thursday, so I just wanted to check in to see if there was any more info I could provide to help you make your decision, and when I might expect to hear back from you?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

<your name>.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – you’re politely asking the hiring manager for an answer and reaffirming your interest in the position.

But it’s neither memorable nor inspiring, and it can sound like you’re nagging them for an answer.

A better approach? Rather than asking them when you’ll hear from them, go ahead and send them something extra to affirm that you’re the right person for the job.

Say you just interviewed for a marketing assistant job at your favourite not-for-profit organisation. The hiring manager promised to be in touch within a week – which has now passed.

Instead of asking when they’ll let you know, consider sending something like this instead:

Hi <interviewer name>,

I hope you’re well – it was great to meet you last week!

You mentioned you’d be in touch by Thursday, so I just wanted to check in with you.

I also thought you might be interested to see the social media campaign I’m working on right now. It’s already had some fantastic feedback from the public, including hundreds of shares on Facebook in just three days. I think something like this would work well at your organisation too, and I would love to help you make the same impact.

Kind regards,

<your name>.

Like the first example, you’ve successfully followed up and reminded the interviewer that you’re waiting to hear back. But you’ve also gone one step further by clearly reminding them of the value you could add to the organisation.

If your work has the capacity to be quantified, it’s great to show specifics – the target your fundraising campaign just smashed, or the assessment of your volunteers’ work you just finished, for example.

But if your work is a little difficult to speak about in such precise terms, or bound by confidentiality – like social work or youth work – you could give them an update on a project or service you’ve been working on. For example:

Hi <interviewer name>,

I hope you’re well – it was great to meet you last week!

You mentioned you’d be in touch by Thursday, so I just wanted to check in with you.

I also thought you might be interested to hear that the new homeless outreach program I’ve been working on that I mentioned during interview is going really well. This week the program finally launched and the response from clients has been even stronger than we expected, which has made all the work feel really worthwhile.

Kind regards,

<your name>.

Still worried neither of these options applies to you or the work you do? Something almost anyone can do is publish a piece on Medium or LinkedIn Pulse. Share your reflections on your work, or on a relevant issue that’s been in the media, and refer the hiring manager to it in your follow-up email:

Hi <interviewer name>,

I hope you’re well – it was great to meet you last week!

You mentioned you’d be in touch by Thursday, so I just wanted to check in with you.

I also thought you might be interested in this piece I’ve just published on Medium, which was inspired by our discussion last week about the challenges of working as a disability support worker under the new NDIS. It’ll give you a little more insight into how I approach my job every day.

Kind regards,

<your name>.

Landing your dream ethical job is all about standing out – showing the hiring manager what you can offer the organisation that others can’t. So putting some thought into how you follow up can make all the difference.

Do you follow up after not hearing back from a job interview? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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